I just wanted to thank you for your recent article about thrival jobs. It really hit home with me and has made me think about my current situation a little differently.
I am a 48-year-old man who has wanted to be an actor since I was a kid. After high school I was provided the grand opportunity, through way of a full tuition scholarship, to attend college as a theatre major. I did not have the discipline to stick it out and dropped out after the first semester. I still kick myself for that one. Who knows what my life would have been had I stuck it out. The contacts I would have made, etc.
After flailing around for a couple of years, not having the knowledge, guts, or the benefit of Internet discussion boards (we’re talking 1980 here) to figure out how to make my dreams come true, I ended up joining the Navy, which I will never regret, and then got married, bought the house, had the kid, and simply pushed my dreams aside in order to live a comfortable life.
Ten years ago I helped form a company that, over the years, has given me tremendous amounts of freedom. I work from my house and as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t really matter whether I do it at ten in the morning or ten at night.
Fast forward to 2010, my kid is on her own, my wife is on her own (don’t be sorry; I’m not), and my life is my now my own. I’m still working for the same company but have grown incredibly burnt out, especially since I have now enrolled in acting classes, getting headshots done, and am starting what I should have started 20 years ago. It seems like my acting career is all I can think about, sometimes to the detriment of my paying job.
I was especially touched by the fact that this IS a marathon and not a sprint. I have lately been thinking that maybe I should just get a “survival” job so that I can pursue this fulltime. Your article changed my thinking on this. You mentioned that one may not be able to do everything that he wants, when he wants due to the day job. That’s what hit me smack in the face. My current job will not allow me to do everything I want to, whenever I want to, but it will allow me to do some things. Probably better than most others. I do have to travel some, which can come at last-minute notice. I do have meetings come up at the last minute, but I guess I should count myself blessed. I’m making a good living and do have the opportunity to pursue this, just not at the pace I would have liked. I appreciated the comparison between scanners and divers. I am a diver and could not even imagine how stressed out I would be if I didn’t know where my next paycheck was coming from or how much it would be.
So I thank you for writing such an insightful article. I have come to appreciate what I do have instead of longing for what I don’t. I have come to realize that I can have what I want, but it’s coming when it happens, not in the next five minutes as I wish it would.
Gary, I was going to write a long and supportive reply to your very thoughtful and comprehensive email, but as I re-read your words just now, I realize I have nothing to add. You’ve nailed it. The road may not look like we thought it would, when we started traveling it. But there is something so very beautiful about standing in a place of pure appreciation for what we have that it makes it all “work” somehow.
With your great attitude and perspective, and a pretty dang flexible thrival job, you’re going to go a lot farther a lot more quickly than you might have expected. Stay grateful! And thank you so very much for sharing your journey with me and with the readers of The Actors Voice. This was just what I needed to read right now!
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001240.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.